Matt Cassel played his hand, betting on himself in free agency.

The Minnesota Vikings are holding their cards, for now.

General manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer said they weren't surprised Cassel exercised the player option and voided the final year of his two-year contract with Minnesota. Cassel, who passed for a team-high 1,807 yards and 11 touchdowns and had an 81.6 quarterback rating last year, passed up the $3.7 million in the second year of the deal for the right to become a free agent.

"You know, from a business standpoint, you knew that was going to come," Spielman said Saturday at the team's annual Arctic Blast, benefiting the Vikings Children's Fund. "Basically, Matt's done a great job for us. We've already been in contact with his agent. I talked to Matt two nights ago on the phone. So, technically he's a UFA now and I'm sure we'll be visiting with his agent down the road as we go."

Cassel's decision leaves Christian Ponder currently as the only quarterback signed into next season. But the team isn't ruling out the possibility that Cassel could return to Minnesota. New offensive coordinator Norv Turner said his son, Scott, had spoken with Cassel and there seemed to be interest from both sides in a possible reunion. Scott Turner is the team's new quarterbacks coach.

Zimmer said he had spoken with Cassel recently, but not in regard to opting out of his contract.